Gua Sha Facial
With all my years as an expert in the beauty industry, a professional makeup artist, and an apprentice herbalist – the Gua Sha tool has naturally become a clear solution in blending the three disciplines for instant results and long-term benefits. Using the Gua Sha tool is totally natural, there is no wrong way to use it, and the effects are immediate.
During my editorial work on photoshoots, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries from friends, models, and clients for skincare tools and/or techniques that naturally lift and plump the skin (a.k.a an alternative to injectables) and discovered the ancient massage technique developed by Traditional Chinese Medicine. I started my research by approaching the experts in the field of the art of facial Gua Sha.
In collaboration with Renaissance Facialist Naomi Lewis of High Maintenance Skincare, we dove deep into researching the best tools and Gua Sha methods to help improve blood circulation, move lymphatic stagnation, and release muscle tension without damaging the skin. Our DIY Gua Sha tutorial, outlined in the video below, pays homage to the ancient rituals with a modern twist. More importantly, it’s easy to follow and incorporate into your weekly beauty routine for instantaneous effects.
If you’ve ever had acupuncture or a facial, the premise and protocol may seem familiar. Tools of various shapes made of crystal are used with light gliding pressure along the same meridians used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, starting at the neck to nourish Yin and Yang. The aim is to de-puff the face by facilitating drainage into the neck and bring fresh blood & nutrients to the skin for that healthy glow.
Our two favorite resources for understanding and incorporating Gua Sha facial techniques into our skincare rituals were Dr. Ping Zhang of Nefeli and Tanja Eskildsen of Honest Beauty Talks. Tanja and her business partner, Maja Lemmeke Heger Hansen, like so many of the Gua Sha experts that we interviewed, trained with Dr. Ping and have transformed the traditional methodology into a relaxing, intuitive approach.
For Trendscaping, we worked with photographer Tereza Janakova to bring a modern, East-meets-West approach to beauty on Kati Staudt (TCM Models & Talent) with a series of rose-quartz inspired editorials. Additionally, Tereza created a Facial Gua Sha 101 tutorial video of Naomi.
Heidi Nymark is a Professional Snowboarder turned Hair & Makeup Artist represented by Art Department. Her editorial work has appeared in Elle, Vanity Fair, Milk, Bambino, Highlights, and Noise. Follow her on Instagram @heidinymark.
Photography & Videography by Tereza Janakova